Local and State Leaders Discuss Unfair Tax Policies
LANSING - The Michigan Municipal League hosted a press conference at the Lansing Center on March 21 to discuss the issue of 'dark stores', a tax loophole that corporations have taken advantage of.
Local Leaders from Meridian Township attended the event including Township Manager Frank Walsh, Township Treasurer Julie Brixie and Township Trustee Patricia Herring Jackson.
Corporations like Walmart and Meijer have been able to get lower property taxes using loopholes and comparing their buildings to store buildings that are closed down and sometimes in a different city.
Legislation addressing the issue of these 'dark store' tax loopholes was discussed during the press conference.
Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie says these tax loopholes have been a problem in Meridian Township, and have cost the Township, a loss of over two million dollars in tax revenue.
"The stores like Meijer and Walmart, they have a really high rate of shoplifting and because they're such popular stores since so many people shop to them, they have a much higher rate of calling 911 because a shopper in the store is having a medical emergency and needs services," said Brixie.
Smaller businesses and residents are left to bear more of the taxpayer costs while larger corporations utilize a great deal of the township's services, but pay fewer taxes.
Brixie hopes to see legislation combating the dark store problem passed this year.